New Study Pinpoints the Exact Amount of Daily Phone Time That Doubles Obesity Risk

Reason #3,402 to get off your phone.

Woman on Apps

Tech addiction is a growing problem these days, so much so that it's been officially recognized as a mental disorder in some parts of the world. Now, new research recently presented at the American College of Cardiology's Latin America Conference shows that being glued to our phones unsurprisingly has some pretty disastrous consequences on our waistlines. In fact, the researchers found that spending five or more hours on your smartphone per day increases your risk of obesity by 43 percent.

To determine these findings, researchers analyzed the BMIs and lifestyle habits of 1,060 students (700 women and 360 men). As you likely expected, those who spent the most time on their phones were likely to be heavier due to a lack of physical exercise and a greater tendency to consume fast food and sugary drinks. And though it might not be a groundbreaking revelation that scrolling through Instagram or swiping through Tinder isn't as good for you as going for a jog, this new study is the first to pinpoint just how many hours of phone time it takes to nearly double your risk of obesity.

"Spending too much time in front of the smartphone facilitates sedentary behaviors [and] reduces the time of physical activity, which increases the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, osteoarticular discomfort, and musculoskeletal symptoms," said the study's lead author Mirary Mantilla-Morrón, a cardiac pulmonary and vascular rehabilitation specialist at Simón Bolívar University in Colombia, in a press release.

Considering that the Pew Research Center found that 28 percent of American adults admit to being online "almost constantly" in 2019, there's certainly cause for concern.

The new research is also important in light of the ongoing obesity epidemic in America. According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average American is now considered clinically obese. And, if we don't change our ways, another recent study says millennials are on track to be the fattest generation ever.

So if you're ready to limit yourself to four hours or less of phone time per day, get motivated with these 30 Reasons to Take a Digital Detox.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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